Puzzle Monday

Yep that’s the name I gave my Monday this week. My kids were so exhausted and the struggle to wake up and get ready for the Monday class session was real. I immediately decided to name the day and walked to them and said “ ladies take as much time as you want in your bed , today is puzzle Monday after all “ My youngest had already suggested whilst covered in her blanket that she just wants to finish her puzzles 🤷🏿‍♀️

So what did I do ? I complied . One day off wouldn’t hurt even for a type A like me . Instead of taking the time to rest , I remembered that curtain that has been falling off for the past six months and no one dared to fix it, that backsplash that has been getting all the grease from the lockdown cooking and I was just ignoring it and I also put polish on the worn out wooden floors that had not been touched for the last 30 days …. whhhhheeeewww .

Whilst I was at it , I attended to 15 payments that had to be made , cleared 71 new emails and browsed through the 34 unattended and decided today is still not the day for them and continued to mark them as unread . By the time the clock hit 12:00 I still had not disinfected the kitchen nor had I mopped the floor – eeeeynaaa

Just like that , it was time for the girls to join the Zoom dance class at 13:45 and off we went !!!! They danced their hearts out and it was marvelous !!!

Then it was lunch time . Lucky for me yesterday’s dumpling and stew was enough for today . Munched they did and off I went to attend to KG who had backaches and tension on his body . By the time I was done with bath salts it was past 4pm . I had to take a shower from all the exhaustion then jumped back to work , phone calls and all. I got an hour in front of TV and watched the Penny Heins documentary and that was all.

After that I decided it was time to put my research work on paper and I went right back to work mode . By the time it was 23:00 I was still sober like a judge. Well that’s life during the lockdown .

Some people managed to do five puzzles , from 50 pieces to a 500 pieces – very impressive for a four and six year old !!! They got somethings done ✅

#lockdownsouthafrica

My daughter hated puzzles and the lockdown has built patience in her . So glad she’s enjoying the challenge
The six year old lives and loves indoors and puzzles are her second most comfortable hobby. She was doing 500 PCs for the first time
The zoom dance classes were fantastic!!!!

Joy of missing out (Jomo)

I first heard this expression from Oprah. The Joy of missing out and I listened to Adam Grants’ interview on World Economic Forum and I just love that he encouraged us to look at what are we grateful for , that we are missing during this lockdown?

So the approach says , I am so happy that during this lockdown I don’t have to go through this. It helps shift our attitude towards gratefulness and less complaining.

So I decided to write ten things that I have the absolute joy of missing them out ! It’s another way to say to my brain I am here now in this new way of doing things and I am just grateful that I don’t have to go through this . It’s just another way to maintain our sanity , isn’t it ? Here we go !!

Jomo

I have the joy of missing out on the following :

1. The morning rush of getting ready for work

2. The rush of preparing breakfast and getting the kids ready whilst avoiding an offense for being late

3. I have serious jomo on the morning fights between my kids , the tears and the stress that comes with it

4. I have absolute joy of missing out on the dropping off two kids at two different schools- on the clock

5. Nothing compared to the jomo on forgetting the “dress up” days or photo shoot days at school- laaawd the embarrassment and the feeling of letting my kid down – whheeewwww I don’t miss that

6. Jomo on my child remembering that it’s swimming day , she forgot her swimming pack and I have to drive back home to get the bag and I have to let my boss know that I will be late for work- aaaaah

7. I have the joy of missing out from driving an hour to work everyday and returning back for another hour – it is tense because I must pay attention at all times – we are all on fast pace

8. Jomo on arriving home between 6 pm and 7 pm every evening and not having time to breathe before cooking supper

9. Jomo on mom guilty and feeling I am not being there enough for my family because the pace is so fast . Say I get home at six , they eat by 7 and sleep by 8. I haven’t settled because I have just served supper and ate then off to bed 😭😭😭😭

10. Jomo on missing out the unnecessary spending and negative balance in my account – haaa amen 🙏🏾 my bank balance is happy saving on e-toll and petrol . Gave us a chance to contribute to the national fund 💯

As we say in SA – dark or blue

How I celebrated the end of the first 21 days

21 days was the initial cut off for the lockdown , then we learned that it will be extended by 14 days. I was all in for the first 21 days and I realized I did such a great job showing up and being consistent to my work and family . ….

Mentally I needed a break and my body was aching in all areas possible . So what did I do ? I took a nap 😴 . Four hours in the afternoon and my goodness that felt so good 😊 . Watched my favorite show Fixer Upper by Chip and Joanna Gaines, gosh they are so good at what they do . Plus that farm lifestyle is all me and that’s the main reason I love them 😍

I am a doer , an action person , disciplined all type A and some , I know now that I needed to prove to myself that I can. And I did for 21 days. But my focus in the next coming days are going to be resting, creating idle time and some more. So I will be letting go of a lot of stuff undone , in a healthy way . Good luck to me

Here’s to another 14 days , maybe I can finally give myself decent baths with salts , consistent exercise and maybe the girls can give me a good massage . You can never know right 😊

Not asking for much just to rest a little bit

🙏🏾

Great food for thought from @thrive. This will pass not as quickly as I want it to but it will surely pass.

Working from home during the lockdown

Working from home caught us off guard and I wasn’t surprised that my first week was horrible to say the least. None of my team members were fully abled to work and I happen to be the last person in the chain to release payments, which were due because it was month end of March after all.

Nonetheless I struggled along , managed the A-Z communication with our last batch of suppliers who needed the assurance that we will pull things off and I am glad that we succeeded at that.

Learning to be patient

I quickly learned that in order to succeed through the process I had to be patient , I normally have a gift of seeing things through , connecting the dots and having a clear path on what will be required by when . I also expected that everyone else would have figured this out and I was wrong.

This is where being caught of guard things come in . Nobody expects to one day be doing everything from home and communicating with team members . I had to accept that there is no manual on how to do things and I must be patient and open to learn new things. As a result we started off on some bad communication tip and I had to learn that I need to be very patient with both myself , my leaders and team.

So as soon as the necessary people were set up , I clarified expectations, I communicated what I was going to be able to do and I couldn’t be able to do. Most importantly every single task had a timeline assigned to it. I just believe that communication of expectations is the best way to get the team know what is needed from them. I also let them know that I too have never been in this situation before so if there’s any ideas , I am open to it. If I make mistakes they should let me know , if I am over communicating or under communicating they should let me know too.

Having two kids under age six and knowing that I had a full day teaching schedule plus cleaning and cooking , I did not want to assume that just because the team is at home this means everyone is logged in to their laptops the whole day . As I have come to learn , it has actually been a complete opposite for me.

Week 1 I was getting in about six working hours a day , schools were closed , I was one of two people able to work from home in my team and it worked. But lo and behold , week 2 things changed. At first I thought I would wake up early and do an hours work before starting with the teaching . But nope , that wasn’t to be. I got to bed so exhausted that an idea of a 6am was totally off the table.

So here is what I have managed to do consistently this far

After teaching my kids at 12:00 , I clean the house , prepare lunch , clean up some more . I am usually done by 2pm and this time is dedicated to logging in . I focus on the emails , tackle new tasks on my to do list , usually I am done by 4pm and then I am back to the kitchen to prepare supper. I got back to laptop on a need basis in between the kids eating and bath time.

What worked

What worked for me was getting my team fully resourced with data , airtime and laptops. I have no doubt that this will change how we do things going forward. Some of the team members have had to go to the office to process some work because they don’t have laptops. This has to change , technology is now our bread and butter issue.

I have been able to quickly leave the kids in class and attend to a Whatsup message from my boss , log in and send that report .

Knowing what was not a priority also helped . The due dates that could be let go such as the draft annual financial statements etc , accepting that we cannot access our ERP system from home wasn’t easy but getting to that acceptance helped to make my sanity work .

My overall reflection

Sources – @thrive

I came across this post from@thrive “ consider which parts of normal are worth rushing to”. And this has gotten my mind thinking 🤔

You know what , this lockdown reminded of the teaching they gave us in the pregnancy class. They said to mothers, most mommies resign after going back to work after maternity leave. Why?The joy and emotion of raising a child gives them so much purpose and direction and they start to question whether or not their jobs are worth their time.

And guess what , I am at this state of mind. Whilst I am grateful that the amount of pressure I have had is minimal and I was actually able to give time to my kids , especially with my husband working as an essential service , I am not sure if I want to go back to the same job and duties. And so there is a lot of thinking and praying awaiting me for the next 14 days .

For now we can just say – searching for a new place is not off the table . I want to spend more time with my kids and my husband. I want to drive less than 15 minutes to work and not an hour , I want to be home to see my kids by 3 or 4pm and not between 6-7pm as I currently do. I want to serve my family supper at 7 consistently and not 8or9pm. I want my freedom back and I want it now. I want to contribute in making a world a better place. I don’t want to sit and idle by.

I don’t know 🤷🏿‍♀️ right now, I am open to counseling after all this but I just need to add more quality into my life and right now my family is everything . My current job is more back end , last person , minimal input that gives me less drive and excitement, I am more a decision making person and financial reporting alone can remove that joy away from me at times. I don’t need any more confirmation. I just don’t know how to make the jump !

Anyone else going through what I am feeling out there ?

Homeschooling during the lockdown

31 March 2020 – this was the official date for the South African public schools to re-open . And open they did , from home that is , amidst the lockdown.

I say opened they did because our school was quite pro-active during this process. We received a full curriculum to teach our Grade-1 daughter from 31 March 2020 right through to the end of the lockdown( the initial lockdown). I am grateful for the school’s leadership and spontaneity on the matter . This has increased my faith in the public school system, the staff and principal have truly outdone themselves !!!

I took day -1 with extreme excitement, overdid stuff and quickly realized that there was no way I could sustain my schedule. So it was all human on deck after this , KG came on board and suddenly life felt manageable.

How does our average schooling schedule look like ?

Waking up time and tasks

I am up at 7h30 am on average , I wake the kids at 8am . They have their dedicated tasks to do

– Make the bed

– Tidy up the room

– Brush the teeth

– Wash their faces

– Change from sleepwear

– Breakfast at 8:30

– Clear the dishwasher whilst breakfast gets ready

– Place dirty dishes into the washer before going to class

Curriculum

We have so far managed to start classes on 09:15 , on average . We have had both good and bad days

09:15 – 10:30 – English

10:30- 10:50- Play , water and bathroom time

10:50- 11:30- Life Skills

11:30-12:00- Afrikaans

12:00 – they sneak out for bathroom time or snack whilst KG is getting ready

12:15 – 13:00 – Mathematics

I think if we were teaching one child there would be more play and idle time . So since we are teaching both kids at the same time , this drags the speed of the process.

Content for the 4 year old

We got the resources along the days from creche for the little one . But the English lessons and life skills are so basic so I would bring her along in the sisters lesson

Where required I created some good content for her . Shapes , colors , animals , transportation. The topics are endless . My go to resource for ideas is https://ourkindafamily.com/ and Worksheets on Facebook !

Things got better as we received resources from her school and it’s been a smooth bliss ever since

So basically I knock off at 12 daily and quickly rush to prepare lunch because at 13:00 they always get their lunch . One of the reason I like this schedule is because it’s closely similar to what they do at school on a daily basis.

Some days KG starts first with Mathematics and I use that time to prepare lunch , disinfect the house but the routine does not move far off. Basic rule is come 13:00ish we are done with the formal school work !!

Play time and creativity

The girls like to see me play with them and seeing that light in their eyes is everything for me 😁😁. I am not as flexible as they are and they get impressed with the little things. I actually hurt my neck in a trampoline 😭😭😭but I continued to play 🤷🏿‍♀️being mom .

I initially thought I would struggle with creativity for the games but I have since realized that they are the greatest source for the games. I sit back and ask them to introduce a game each day and it is honestly the best method.

I noticed that we haven’t done much artwork and this is something they love doing . I have been thinking of using leaves since they are falling to do creative stuff. I also have left over spray paint in the store room that I might just put into good use.

I did introduce some stuff like cutting from the newspaper to learn different letters of the alphabets and they got the lesson.

Exercising and stretching

I discovered that the girls are fantastic at coaching . Katlego used to do ballet and it’s something she loves and she has been coaching us on this. Kgaogelo is just an amazing freestyle dancer and she is a tough cookie , so we have been towing the line during her sessions. We do stretching and exercising as part of play time daily.

Extra murals

Katlego is enrolled for hockey , we have a few videos to go through and haven’t managed to get to them as yet. Kgaogelo is enrolled in a dance academy , we are on week two of her online dance classes. The nice thing about it is that the sister can join in and they have fun . They do this once a week in the afternoon.

Kgaogelo also does karate and we have just received videos that she can do from home.

And then there’s computer lessons that I don’t know where to begin and what to do 🤷🏿‍♀️🤷🏿‍♀️

Basically we can say the area of extra murals is an area of improvement and we will get through it seeing that the lockdown is now extended.

Book reading

This is another area of improvement and am not very proud to say I have never gotten this area right . Part of the English lesson is reading a book daily , kids need to learn to tell the story back to you and the six year old needs to learn how to formulate sentences and I am just failing at this dismally from the book reading context . Reading books are galore , dedication dololo. So I am very open to any tools in this area , amen .

Fear of Over scheduling

Why I try not to over schedule the kids is because I am hearing the voice of Dr Shefali in my head who encourages conscious parenting and I just want them to still be kids and right now honestly , I am not sure what a balanced picture looks like . So I figured they can play as much as they want and still keep to the schedule.

My don’t s

I have avoided over resourcing myself hence I only have two go to places, the lady who manages this blog https://ourkindafamily.com/ is fantastic and has 4 kids that are homeschooled on a permanent basis and has the same age group to my girls.

TV for kids remains to be from Friday until Sunday so nothing has changed there unless they watching it with us.

Do’s

I give myself permission to rest when I am tired and cannot do it on that day.

Connect the kids to their friends via video call. This has kept them excited to share with their friends and I can see they understand the COVID situation much better now and can explain it to the next person

The joys

I must confess , teaching our 4 year old writing her name from scratch and seeing her doing it without reference has been my proudest moment. The life skills lessons I give in class and then have them repeat them back to me as we interact in the house and seeing them taking ownership of those lessons , honestly it blows my mind . Teaching Afrikaans to the six year is also one of my proudest moments 😆

I don’t know about any other moms but not having the stress of the morning routine has brought about peace in my life . Does anyone relate to the morning rush ?

Getting myself ready

Getting the kids breakfast ready

Getting them ready , helping them eat because some days they just take forever

Forgetting the swimming bag and driving back to pick up after dropping the first one

Being on a lookout for the clock so that no ones gets an offense

Arriving at school and you forgot that it’s dress up day for the other

Dropping the kids at two different location before taking an hour drive to work

My old morning routine was stressful and to be able to do this without that stress has been aaaaaaaamaaazing and I am thankful for it . The pace in the morning is so so peaceful!!

I don’t miss my normal routine in this area🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾

I am officially teacher mom and honestly I love it this way and very grateful to have witnessed it.

That being said , I salute the teachers and I would vote that they earn a decent salary any day !!

Using what we have to create a learning environment!!
I do put on some make up and lipstick ! Helps uplift my energy plus I just love taking things seriously 🤣 Papa teacher there

Hail storm – it excites the kids and mommy went to get some ice and the response 😁😁😁😁yeeeeey

Got them disinfecting their toys . This helped me through the process of identifying what’s available for use . Colors , shapes etc all those educational toys we buy but never used – mmhhnn they working now . Dusted them nicely and voila
Some resources we received from the school for the 4 year old !

Lockdown kitchen diaries

20 days later!!!!! Woooow we are making it , one day at a time !

Preparing three meals a day has never been so challenging 😛😛😛😛jeeeeeerrrrr . My family has different preferences and unfortunately there are a number of food items that we cannot all eat at the same time. Luckily for me I have been cooking since day one I met KG and I have figured how to unlock my food choices. Some days I still found myself cooking two or three dishes at the same time just so that everyone is accommodated….. and it has been rough to say the least !

Cooking is my way of showing up for my family . Look , at the end of the day we have to eat so my take is , let that ritual be exciting and at least memorable . The thing about food for me is that it creates memories . I remember how my mom used to bake for us and the smell of freshly baked buns gave me a sense of home and belonging. And that is what I am trying to create for my family .

Good food compliments my home making process 😋😋😋😋

So it has been rough and exciting , baking from fat cakes , pizza 🍕 , scones to red velvet muffins !!!! The girls had so much fun and it’s been our great fun time activity !!

Here are just few of pictures I got to take and I think we will always look back at this experience with a huge sense of gratitude for the meals we shared together as a family.

For the next 14 days I will be reducing my time spent in the kitchen to allow myself more studying time as KG will be showing off his culinary skills in the kitchen – he is the sandwich king in the family and I just can’t wait to dig in 😋😋😋. I will share some of those at the end of the lockdown🤗

Happy cooking 🥘 and enjoy the pictures . If you ever need a go to place for cooking inspiration @Chefnthabit also on @well.maid is my absolute favorite!!!!

Porridge and tinkies

Gardening- I didn’t realize it’s been 18 , 19? how many days again since the lockdown 🤷🏿‍♀️🤷🏿‍♀️

Time flies amid the lockdown

It’s unbelievable how I assumed that the lockdown meant more time , plenty of time to do what I love , to clean up and do extra tasks that I have been meaning to do .

I was completely wrong , by day 12 I was wondering what happened to all the time ?

The garden suffered neglect and I managed to work on it by day 18. The soil was so hard considering we have had a lot of rain for the past few weeks then more sunlight . Working the soil was like working on stones and I found myself regretting why I haven’t touched it for so long.

Nonetheless I endured the six hours hard work and came out with a nicer looking and better feeling garden .

Tomatoes 🍅

I am growing tomatoes for the second time around and I did a bit of research on Pinterest. I learned that trimming the tree is important to avoid food poisoning. Building a trellis is something I have been wanting to do and guess what ? I made a plan with my old washed stockings – a plaas meisie maak n plan!! The outcome is superb

Carrots 🥕

I didn’t know that letting carrot bush grow taller prevents the sun and all the good stuff from supporting the growth . Sounds like common sense now but in the past I would just let these be.

I did a nice trim on the bush and replanted the carrots to allow good spacing . I think in the future I will space the seedlings to avoid the replanting task . Maybe , I don’t know 🤷🏿‍♀️

Overall I am very happy with the progress of the garden and I must say I have harvested more during this lockdown than I ever did in the past. All my lettuce , spinach and herbs that I have used for the past 20 days come from the garden.

I want to promise myself that I will take a few hours a week and spend time in my garden ??. I need it , something different and helps me relax. Perhaps I must put it as part of my routine??

How clean doe this tomatoes and carrot 🥕 bed look ! Amazing 😉

Day -2 – Lockdown South Africa

I have been trying to put words together to try and define the feeling in the air. My feelings for today.

Going through the COVID-19 experience feels like death or loss . There is so much grief from loss and there is a lot that I am grieving for today.

My husband and I were talking about this the other day and he said to me “ you know , it is very interesting how I am a home buddy , but knowing that I have to be home for 21 days, as a rule is not exciting “ and I thought to myself mmhhhnn , I know exactly why this is the case and I can sure relate .

I remembered words once said by Oprah “ our greatest desire/ seek is freedom “ from the book , Wisdom of Sunday’s.

As humans we want to know that we are free to choose what we eat , who to marry , where to go and what time we want to be there . The experience that comes with COVID-19 has taken that away from us . We have lost our freedom of choice and that is a scary idea . A mere inhaling of oxygen next to someone with a disease can potentially make you ill and in some instance it means death itself .

Going to a grocery store during this time , is no longer a choice between essentials and luxury, nope, right now you buy the essentials and you get the hell out of there , you stand in the queue hoping nobody sneezes on you and that no one dares to touch you . You don’t feel the freedom of choice as you used to ! ! It’s all gone !!!

This is very scary and to think that this is our current reality , it is unbelievable! !!! This is not something we go around preparing for , even my own mother who is in her 70’s says she has never seen anything like this. She has heard of a flue back in the days but never personally got to experience a lock down . This is very foreign to me and everyone around me.

Rules and restrictions can quickly take the joy out of something that you love with all of your heart, even if that thing is simply staying at home . The peace of mind that comes with being home because of your choice , feels like it has now being taken away, gone, because of COVID-19 and that’s where the anxiety begins.

To make matters worse, we don’t know when that freedom of choice will be restored back to us , theres is also a real threat that even when it is restored , we might not be truly free .

There is this fear within me , that the extent of the loss will make us to be filled with extreme paranoia and that we will just become a generation of elders who are extremely fearful and anxious.

I pray to God that doesn’t happen to us.

Deja vu

In my effort to try pin point this feeling . I took a journey down memory lane and I went back to April 2008 , the day I heard the news that my brother Sibusiso was hospitalized. He had sent a young man to let me know that he couldn’t speak and needed medical attention urgently. It was a warm normal Monday for me , yet that evening when I got on my knees to pray, I just sobbed , I closed my eyes for a moment and saw a funeral procession , with my brother in the coffin . I was confused , I felt helpless and I didn’t know whether to cast the death demon out or to surrender .

The very next day , I was on the phone calling insurance to check on my financial standings. I didn’t know that the moment on my knees was a “ for your information “ moment and not a “ fighting “ moment . Nonetheless I was left confused , destitute . This was my first experience with loss and not just any other loss, this was my partner in everything .

Just 9 months older than me, my brother was my companion. We dreamt together and I never in a lifetime thought I would loose him in such a short notice.

Less than two years later my dad fell from a tractor , I didn’t know that I was grieving my brother but I realized that because he was the first person to die in my family , I lived in fear of who was next . My dads illness made me take tough decisions , filled with fear and anxiety from the experience I had with my brother.

Basically , I lost my why . Why am I doing what I am doing daily . Why am I earning six figures if my brother is dead and my dad may just die. My family was the drive behind everything I did and for the first time in my life , I got a wake up call like no other and I was in a deep thick fog 🌫 . The experience of losing someone and the fear of another loss and not knowing how to do life with this reality was a huge challenge for me

Back to today’s feeling

I have had so many rugs pulled under my feet ever since that experience , after my brother died, my dad also died and I was 3 months pregnant with our first daughter , less than twenty four months afterwards, my other brother died , again I was pregnant with our second daughter and shortly thereafter my uncle died.

I cannot begin to explain what loss , anxiety and pain does to the human soul but what I know for sure is this , there is a powerful reason why someone wrote that Serenity prayer 🙏🏾

This is why I am convinced that in times like this , this prayer is the most relevant to our lives. Here it goes :

Dear Lord

Grant me the serenity to accept things I cannot change

Courage to change the things I can

And the wisdom to know the difference

There is a lot of wisdom in this prayer and I have personally learned through pain and life experience that it is best to welcome whatever experience that comes your way, especially where you have limited control over it, once accepted , TRUST that God , has your best interest at heart . Painful as it may be.

It is not easy

That same fear , that pain , that grief from the loss of the freedom , the loss of a loved one is what’s feeling my air today.

The loss of potential income as companies cannot afford to sustain jobs anymore . Opens room for never ending uncertainty. Many of us are defined by what we do for a living and rightfully so. But for over a year now , I have been reading a book by Michael Singer“ The untethered soul” it helped me redefine my identity versus my job. It is a great self help book and I recommend it.

So today , I would like to encourage you through the helplessness . I would like for you to know that what we are going through , has been allowed and permitted and we shall overcome .

Every year I receive a message for what the year stands for , 2020 is the year of liquidation and it has been permitted . I will expand more on this in my next post.

Our job is to surrender and not to fight and resist.

God is in control.

My wins for the day

I recorded some great wins for myself today !!!

• I cleaned the house very well and opened my lavender air sprays . Cleaning and house chores energizes me , the house smells great 😃

• My kids were outdoor for the most part of the day – I can’t believe how responsible and well behaved this six and four year old are – it’s amazing – they listen – they do their work – they fix their beds and they swept their own room and finished their food – wooow

• I picked up some flowers from the garden 🌸 and decorated my table – simple yet refreshing

• And I got to cook samp and chicken stew – using this moment to show up and serve the people closest to me is the best medicine in the world . I picked up parsley and onion to garnishee from my garden – living the life I tell you 😝

• Prior to the lockdown I recognized some opportunities to blow my kids mind away and so I got jelly and custard – believe me when I say , everyday I hear “ you are the best mommy in the whole wide world “ this is the reason I love being mommy😊😊

• I watched no news today 👊🏾👊🏾👊🏾👊🏾👊🏾 none – try this too if you are reading this – it is a very good strategy to help myself not be overwhelmed by everything that is going on

• I watched a few episodes of Designated Survivor- omg this series is one of my favorite!!! We started it from scratch – second round 😆

Places and people I go to for inspiration

Social media can be overwhelming so I choose very responsibly who I choose to follow. I stick to the rule that I don’t touch my phone for at least an hour after waking up and that always works for me.

I follow people who I believe their energy is aligned to my values , what I believe in and have a good debate and challenge my comfort zone.

Here are a few people I think you can consider to follow up and check what they are posting daily :

Iman Rapetti- a phenomenal South African woman and she is letting us into her home with a YouTube channel named , Iman Is Home . A candid experience of a what typical southern African family is going through during this time . With three generations in the discussions , it’s fun , insightful and emotional yet so beautifully done ✅ !!!!

Bongi n Collin- this one is a must do okay – this amazing Christian couple take us through the golden times. They are beautiful and melodically gifted and play all the jams live from the comfort of their home . I feel goosebumps every time I join them on Facebook Live. This a good time to distress- every evening

Zibu Sibiya- I follow her for her insights. She is very much thought provoking and I just love her out of the box thinking . She challenges the social activist in me and basically kicks my ignorance out of the window . She is fantastic!

Dr Brene Brown- she is my go to person and I listen to her podcast . She is in her second or third podcast now . Something new and very vulnerable. You literally feel like she’s your sister or aunt that’s known you since the beginning of time. A qualified Psycologist

Oprah – all her products speak to my soul. Super Soul Sunday goes live and tomorrow Alicia Keys will be live . This is my therapy space – again this is once a week and can always catch up on their episodes if I missed the live sessions

Sarah Jakes – I go to Los Angels live very Friday morning – been doing so for a year now and my life has never been the same . I feed here spiritually

The Red Table Talk – I believe that Jada is a gift for people like me and I tune in , again once a week , religiously so . She covers all type of topics and she is very current and brave. I love the fact that she has three generations of women and there is so much insight and lessons to be learned.

Word of encouragement

“You are not alone , you are not lonely , you are in solitude “ Jay Shetty

Be blessed

Mano

Day 1- Lockdown South Africa – COVID-19

So the lockdown is on and unfortunately today we heard the reports that we have lost 2 people and we have over 1000 infections.

Like many other South Africans this new normal presents serious challenges for our country but moreover there are enormous amounts of opportunities. I am very proud on how we are handling the challenges thus far , many of my friends and family members are adhering to the strict social distancing requirements gazetted by the government. I also have a sister who works in a laboratory and is in charge of the production of essential pharmaceutical products, a brother in government communication, a brother in the provision of energy , a much needed commodity in our daily lives , a brother in retail for those continued food supplies and two friends in the mining sector.

I am very proud to know people who are so selfless and give of their time and are committed to their jobs amidst the anxiety and fear caused by this disease. I think one of the biggest challenge about COVID-19 are the daily ever changing details of what this virus is and the uncertainty around our future of doing life as we normally know it .

A call to prayer

Our President has called the entire nation to prayer 🙏🏾. In times like these , we can only look up and ask the Almighty for help, for hope and surrender to what is to come.

I honestly have no idea what the future holds for us as a nation but I have confidence that He who started the good work in us shall see it to its completion.

God is always faithful and whatever lesson He wants us to learn from this , personally I am very open to it and I welcome it .

Afraid at times ? Absolutely, intimidated some days , yes , anxiety ridden some days , off course . But it’s the experiences that have come with growing up that lead me to know with certainty, that WE shall overcome !!!

So at 18:00 everyday , the entire country takes a moment to call upon the Almighty and I promise you , I do feel a little hopeful after every minute I spent in that prayer.

How have I been preparing myself mentally ?

I honestly have been calm in what is obviously a brewing storm that cannot even be measured yet . I attributed this to the fact that I do have a stressful job and with that comes a daily yearning to slow down and spend quality time with my family and this 21 days gives me that absolute opportunity to do just that. As soon I got the news on the lockdown my mind went straight into gratitude mode and I just knew that there is something special for me and my family in all this.

My second reason is I always wanted to be a house wife 😀 and God and life had other plans for me . So a part of me is eternally grateful to be home every single day and I get to lead the ideal life of being mommy and wife , to cook endlessly and just have more eye to eye chats with the little ones and hubby.

The formalities

Like a very well trained soldier I love a formal schedule and I will be developing one for my family in how we will be managing the rest of the days.

The schedule is more for myself because I am very formal and routine orientated and I also believe this is very beneficial for the kids.

My husband and I figured out that the kids are still on school holidays officially and so we are letting them have that break and once that’s done then we will introduce them to the tasks that the school gave us and we will do these on a daily basis.

Our six year old has been spending 30 minutes a day to do her Kumon Mathematics and English lessons as part of her school holiday work and so far it has been going very well.

We just received word from the dance class teacher that they will be conducting lessons online and we are all very much excited about that. This is the one reason I am so thankful for technology because whilst the world has stopped , there is still some sense of continuity.

What am I grateful and excited for

I am grateful for time to be with my family for the next 21 days , I already learned something about my girls last night that I know for sure I wouldn’t have been able to know this soon under normal circumstances.

Even though my husband and I are working on a daily basis. I am grateful that we get to do so in the comfort of our home and a wonderful space that we have created for ourselves.

I am very excited for the ample time I will get to spend gardening, I got a few bags of potting soil and succulents for this purpose !

I will be trying a few recipes in the kitchen , the go to chef for that is FoodiesSA and they will be my companion for the next coming days . I honestly can’t wait 😊

An unrushed time to reflect . I mean honestly there’s just no greater opportunity to write more on my blog and share my thoughts with the world. I would love to take this opportunity to give of myself to friends and family through a daily prayer 🙏🏾. I believe this will go a long way to support those in need of uplifting and hope during this time. So everyday in the morning I will send a prayer though Facebook and Instagram to let us know that we shall overcome

I have this idea that I am going to grow and discover myself , my marriage and my family even more . There is that feeling of peace and a good feeling about the person I would have become on the other side of this lockdown and this feeling makes me happy 😊

My husband and I have never been home together for 21 consecutive days since we met ten years ago . This is a big deal for us because we have spent almost all weekends together for the past ten years . So this is a time to discover more about each other and what it means to us being there for each other during a time of uncertainty. The thought brings security and peace to my mind.

The amount of creativity around the world , the vulnerability that we are seeing from leaders across the globe . All of it let’s me know that something good is going to come out of this. I love seeing posts from America to Italy and Cape Town people and mostly total strangers showing up for each other . From music , family gatherings to funny memes , seeing this , a world united in song, in grief and hope is something that I am very grateful to living to see in my time on this earth.

A word of encouragement

I take my que from Dr Evans who posted something profound about choosing what to frame from this experience . She referred to a trip she took with her family to Disneyland and just before it ended things went south ending up with a child in hospital . She noted that on their return from the trip , she printed and framed the pictures showing the good stuff, not to say that the bad stuff didn’t happen but she chose to focus on the great memories

When I watched this video I knew that this is was exactly how I felt . I made a decision from the beginning to say I am going frame the good stuff from this experience and I just had this certainty about it.

I will not deny the sadnesses, anxiet and uncertainty but when it all ends this is how I want to frame this experience and the opportunity it presents:

⁃ The growth that will come with all of this

⁃ The appreciation of time with family

⁃ The ultimate surrender to Gods will

⁃ The letting go of material stuff that lingers around to define me

⁃ I will celebrate a new me

⁃ I will celebrate an improved quality relationship with my husband and kids

⁃ A better perspective of what work means to me and for me

⁃ A creative mind and way on how to get by with little

⁃ An appreciation of a united world

⁃ Being fully present

⁃ Seeing plants grow daily

⁃ Cooking galore of my favorite and new recipes

⁃ Playtime with the kids 😃😃😃

⁃ I might actually find a business idea and make good money and be a housewife

⁃ The possibilities are endless

So I pray that wherever you are reading this today , you can choose to frame the good stuff from this experience we are having today .

Much love

Mano

No matter what ! 28 Days Program

I love SELF – DEVELOPMENT and my most recent investment has been with Lisa Nichols. I am doing her No Matter What 28 days program and I am so glad it was brought to my attention.

Now I have not been a great fan of formal programs in the past and I didn’t know why. But I got to a point where I became desperate to turn my mind , my mental state and my energy around . I further realized that I have been doing programs all my life , through books , group discussions , church , women’s forums etc . Somehow I was and always am seeking ways to become better and become the best version of myself , in every season. So I decided to see that everything and anything that I have been engaged in with the hope of transforming my life , is a program of sort. Formal or informal , it matters not , the intention is always to get better , and I really love that .

This program specifically, has helped me find numerous revealing details about myself, my past and the person I am becoming and I am in awe.

It also met me when I identified the season I am in, which is aligned to my scripture for 2020 which is John 5:1-9 and so I am literally receiving a revelation every day .

This is a time and point in my life where I realize the need to outgrow what I have learned . Unlearn , shift and reset … it’s a natural and ongoing process of life and I can specifically remember doing the same process not as intense though , in my twenties

It’s called growth

It is all a necessary exercise , I have to work on myself in order for me to effectively touch lives …

So here are some of my favorite questions she’s making me ask myself

What are you protecting ?

What are you proving ?

What are you hiding ?

What are you defending ?

It’s basically a discovery and a question of who am I , today ?

Oprah added a few questions too

What are you blocking ?

What are you resisting ?

What are you not allowing ?

Why are you not leaning into the dream that’s already been created for you ?

There is a common denominator on the answers that I have been giving and they are all linked to the fact that after 36 years of life , just like a man sitting by the pool of Bethsaida I expect the water to bubble up . All you know is that your freedom , your salvation , your redemption , your healing , your next step would have occurred only if you could jump into the bubbling water and only if there was a kind somebody to “ help “ you !

It’s as if we look at our lives from a rear view mirror ! Only if this would happen … then maybe I could !!! I can hear myself saying this so many times already !

But lo and behold , your healing and growth will come only if you stand up, pick up your mat and walk.

This is a time when the redemption has nothing to do with anything that is outside of yourself. Meaning your savior is already with you , He did promise to BE with you . There are five porches at Bethsaida , that means Grace was always there and this confirms that the grace of God is still with us.

The purpose of Bethsaida I believe is to remind us that it doesn’t matter how your community , your neighbors, your friends received their breakthroughs. Whether other kids made it through bursaries and you didn’t , it matters not. Whether your friends are from a well to do family or not , that matters not. Fact is , your breakthrough has nothing to do with what you have seen people experience and the scripture is an exact depiction of what literary happens when we are in midlife !!!!

I know beyond a shadow of doubt that there is a specific reason why the number in years is mentioned . And there is also a reason why specific instructions were given .

Stand up – This means focus on the your strength. By the time you reach midlife , you have pretty much figured out your strengths , and there is sometimes a luring temptation that you can still change your weaknesses, invest and transform . At this stage of life , you ought to stand in your strength . So your better know it and know it very well

Your approach to life , problems , sickness ought to come from a position of your strength and not your weaknesses . This is something that will determine how you handle midlife and life afterwards.

By this time , you have done all you can , seen all you can but now it’s time to take that shot . Yes you know your blind spots and are very much aware and confident of your weaknesses but now you step forward in your strength because He promised that where we are weak , He is strong

So stop wasting time trying to change your weaknesses. This is the time where you understand Paul when he says , he gave me a thorn to keep me humble. Your weakness are a reason and a reminder to say , you are not an island , you need family , you need partnership , if you want to get anything done in life , team up with someone to compliment your weaknesses

Pick up your mat – means get out of the place of comfort!!! The Bible says he picked up his sleeping mat .

There comes a point in life where you realize that if you are going to achieve anything at all , you must be prepared to be uncomfortable. If you are in your mid thirties and haven’t yet made peace with this , you have trouble coming your way

You must get out of your comfort zone or else nothing will ever happen for you . You must accept that you will win some and lose some and in fact learn the strategy of managing a career , being a mom to a 4 year old , whilst trying to teach a grade 1 student , welcome growing in marriage and it’s challenges , whilst at the same time trying to get a proffessional qualification and don’t forget , remaining a daughter and a sister too !!!!!

No one is going say okay , we are going to hold the clock for you , whilst you go study , your mom will stay younger she won’t get sick , no one will hold time whilst you are following your passion . In the midst of it all, life will happen . People will die , jobs will be lost , children will be born , joy will be experienced , happiness will abound

It is a mixture of it all and it is all uncomfortable and the sooner you realize that about life the better chances of thriving you will have

Lisa Nichols says “ your convenience and conviction don’t live on the same street”

Walk !!! – You must walk . Every successful person that I have watched and listened to said “ I kept going” you have to walk towards your dream . You have to move , you might not be certain of the destiny but the breakthrough in life comes when we take the first step !!!

It’s time to stop waiting for water to bubble up . God says I have a different method for you , do you want to get well ?

I personally felt the Lord asking me this , are you willing to see yourself differently are you willing to see the outcome in a different form and view even if it’s something you have never see before ? Or even if it’s not how you imagined it ?

Do you want to get healed ? Be confident = Stand up , Get uncomfortable and walk !!

“We must always relocate our possibilities “ Lisa Nichols

So I took a bold step and changed my hair color. I wake up everyday and walk up to a mirror and I know that I have pressed a RESET button on myself . I am intentionally seeking to find and I am grateful 🙏🏾

Permission to grow = granted !!!!